Joann Rosario Condrey is known to most because of her career in Gospel Music. From 1997-2008, Joann traveled extensively with Apostle Nahum Rosario, Marvin Sapp, Fred Hammond and on her own. During that time she also recorded 3 albums (More, More, More– Now More Than Ever…Worship and Joyous Salvation) and is known as a worship leader. In 2008, Joann was ordained as an evangelist through Maranatha Worldwide Ministries in Chicago IL and continues to travel, singing and preaching the Gospel of Jesus. Upon her marriage in December 2008 to Cory “Coco Brother” Condrey, she relocated to Atlanta Georgia with her husband. Cory and Joann have been actively hitting the streets with their evangelistic ministry (The Condrey Evangelistic Association). In February 2010, Arianna Condrey arrived and is The Condrey’s first child. Arianna’s baby sister, Hadara Virtue, arrived on July 3, 2012. As a wife and mother, Joann feels the need to reach out to women in the effort to encourage and strengthen them in their walk with Christ. In 2014, Joann started Rainfire Church in Douglassville, GA were currently is the Senior Pastor. (Bio exert from https://royalsisterhood.wordpress.com/about/)
Thank you Mrs. Joann Rosario Condrey for accepting to do this interview with us. You are definitely what we consider a woman of purpose. Let’s get started.
Saviela: How do you juggle being a wife, mother, pastor and artist? Do you ever get to the point where you feel as if you have to take a break or slow down?
Joann: ABSOLUTELY! When I first got married, my husband Corey, and I were doing so many things in the ministry. I wasn’t just traveling as an artist and worship, but I was also involved with the back end of administrative side of the ministry along with having my first child. It was very overwhelming I believe one of the first things I learned, but not right away, was that you cannot do it all and it’s ok not to be able to do it all. I’m working more on how to prioritize what I must do and what I am able to do and/or what I can delegate to others. In the beginning I used to feel like a failure because I thought I had to do it all but the truth of the matter is there is nothing wrong with asking for help. As women we learn how to delegate the things that we necessary don’t have to do. There are things I can’t delegate like spending time with my children but I can ask for assistance with the office work for the church or washing the clothes. Learn to delegate and it will help you not to go crazy. There are times when you may feel like you’re going to lose it and it’s in those times that I do slow down. Interesting enough when I travel to minister and perform it allows me time to slow down and just focus on spending time with God. I am able to bring the word or lead worship wherever I am and I don’t have to worry about the other things I have to do on daily basis.
Saviela: You are the wife of a prominent Radio DJ and television personality, Mr. Corey Condrey, better known as Coco Brother. How did you and your husband meet? What attracted you to him? How did you know it was God’s will for you to marry him?
Joann: I met Corey through a mutual friend actually we met first over the phone. We did not meet face to face until 3 months later. We had been talking on the phone 7-8 hours a day. He would get off the radio and we would be talking until the sun came up. During that time we were not trying to impress each other and the physical element was not in the way. Sometimes people can get too entangle physically too quickly and it doesn’t allow you to get to know the person. We talked so much that it made me fall in love with his heart and his passion for Jesus and for souls. I could tell he really loves God. And I didn’t feel like I had to pretend to be less spiritual then what I was or less passionate for Jesus. Because of those conversations I felt confirmation within my heart that he was the person that God had for me. Before we met face to face, I prayed about it and talked to my parent and family. God sent multiple confirmations. Both he and I, in past relationships, were engaged to marry someone else but God did not allow it to happen for him and God did not allow it to happen for me. I called the wedding off two months before the wedding day. When I finally met Corey there was no area of doubt within my heart everything about him lined up with what I knew was my purpose in life and in God. That gave me the insurance to move forward.
Saviela: You and your husband work so well together and your ministries complement each other. Tell us what it is like working in partnership with your husband on the STAND Prayer Rally Tour.
Joann: Yes it is really amazing. As people know Corey does radio and television and I do worship music and now I am pastoring. I was preaching before but as of two years ago I am now pastoring at Rainfire Church in Douglasville, GA. We both have an evangelistic heart and I believe that is the part that ties us together. The STAND ministry is the vision God gave to my husband. God gives to him the ideas and he will come to me and say, Hey Joann I feel we should do this and then I will try to help maybe even add suggestions to the vision. Or if he gets stuck with trying to move the vision forward, I am able to assist him. I also help out with the administrative side of STAND, so I am definitely more of a support when it comes to STAND. And of course the day of I am there to do worship, exhorting etc. Like you said, we work together and it complements each other’s ministry. A lot of it has to do with me respecting his calling, who he is and the way he minsters the gospel and of course, he does the same for me. I know when to step back and he knows when to step forward and then sometime he steps back and pushes me forward. I think with that unselfishness is what allows us to be able to work together effectively.
Saviela: You have two beautiful girls. Your oldest daughter Arianna seems to be following in your footsteps as she has a passion for singing. Tell us how you encourage your children to walk in the path God has for them.
Joann: I spend a lot of time praying for them. I try to pay attention to what they like. When I look at Arianna she is singing all the time. It’s not because I say to her you need to sing, sing, sing, but she just wants to do it. So we will talk about it and I will say to her wow you did such a good job. Sometimes I will let her sing at church even though her mic is not plugged up yet. I let her get up on the stage because that’s what my dad did for me and it allowed me to develop into the singer I am now. It allowed me to ride the bike with the training wheels on until I developed enough to be able to take the training wheels off so now what everyone sees me doing all around the world is because of him. When people ask why I allow her do that and say she’s just a little kid it’s because I can see her being very powerful in the future and I want to train her the way my dad trained me. The same with Hardara, she likes to sing too, she has also has other gifts and talents as well. I can tell she is going to be very organize and will be a boss because she likes leading and directing things. I can also tell she is going to have more of that “Corey drive” in her and be more of the visionary. So I just ask God for wisdom every day and I’m learning to give them the opportunity to be who they are but when I see they are not being true to who they are I learn to bring correction to them in love.
Saviela: You have been very open and transparent about your life. You recently lost a child due to a miscarriage. What do you say to someone who is has had a miscarriage and is having a hard time coping with it?
Joann: Actually in my 7 years of marriage I have had 3 miscarriages. I had one before my first daughter and last year in 2015, I had two miscarriages 6 months apart. For anyone who is struggling with it I know it can be very difficult and hard. There is a wonderful book I suggest to everyone called Supernatural Childbirth by Jackie Mize. We have to strengthen our faith, stand in our faith and believe God for healthy pregnancies. We have to gird ourselves with the Word of God and bind the enemy from stealing our children and stealing the next generation. When you stood, prayed and believed the word of God and there is a loss of the pregnancy for whatever reason that’s when you have to say, God you know something that I don’t know and I yield myself to you to heal my heart. Continue to believe God and get the prayer and support from people around you. You may not necessary have to talk to them about it but really have people praying for you. Bind the spirit of bitterness and grief. You can grieve in a healthy way but when it becomes overwhelming and unbearable you have to deal with that spiritually. Allow yourself a healthy amount of time but when you see yourself going into depression you got to grab yourself and say, no Lord I trust you. You have to pull out all those scriptures that references the hope God has for your future and the love of God and the fact that his ways are perfect and he will cause all things to work together for your good. Fill your mind and begin to pray with those scriptures. Bind the spirit of bitterness, anger and of anything that will take you into depression. And I believe that the Holy Spirit will help you walk through that.
Saviela: You are a remarkable and diverse Gospel Artist. Tell us how you got started in your music career.
Joann: I was introduced to the Gospel music industry by Fred Hammond. He heard me singing background when I was 19/20 years old with one of the first Hip Hop Gospel groups that started Christian Hip Hop music called End Time Warriors (ETW). One of the members in that group was engaged to my roommate at that time. They asked me to sing background on their album. They did a remake of the song, “Let’s Stay Together”. We ended up performing that song at the Azusa conference, which was a very big conference in those years when Carlton Pearson hosted it in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They televised that conference and through that conference being on TV, Fred Hammond saw it and said to himself, one day I would like to work with that girl she seems to have some talent. Shortly after that he was in Chicago for business and met someone who actually worked with me on that same CD. They were at an album release party and he ended up meeting someone who also sung background on that same project and he asked if she knew the other girl that sang and she said yes that Joann, she’s my sister’s best friend and she lives here in Chicago. The next day she called and said Fred Hammond is in town and he wants to meet you. At first, I thought she was joking. My brother and I went down to the studio and he was working on one of the last Commission records and that’s when we met him. Nothing happened right away but after that maybe a few years later he brought us to Detroit to have me work on a single and some years after I graduate from college he invited me to be a part of RFC (Radical For Christ) with the plan of releasing me as a gospel artist. My first album was released, More, More More, then after that it was, Now More Than Ever Worship, and then, Joyous Salvation. I am very thankful for Fred Hammond for him allowing me to stand on his platform. He introduced me to his audience, which released a powerful and strong foundation for my music ministry. It also gave me an opportunity to meet my husband because if I wasn’t doing Gospel music I probably wouldn’t have met Corey so God’s ways are prefect. God was just opening doors for me, even before that, I had the opportunity to sing background for Marvin Sapp. It’s not something that I was looking for He just allowed it to happen obviously it was His will and in that respect I feel really blessed
Saviela: What does Praise and Worship mean to you? How has it changed your life?
Joann: At one point in my life Praise and Worship was a style of music. It was just singing worship songs but through the miscarriages and through losing my voice many years ago (I lost my voice for a year and a half almost 2 years) through the trials and tribulations of life, Praise and Worship had become my personal connection with God. My life of worship is really embodied in my obedience to God and my willingness to do what He tells me to do and go where He tells me to go. When I sing the songs, it’s that love that comes through praise and worship that is what makes its powerful. It goes beyond what I sing; it goes into the fiber of my life and for anyone who wants to live a life of worship that’s really where it is at. I preached a message that can be found on YouTube called, “What is this Thing Called Worship” that message fully addresses this question. Worship is not a style of music but has everything to do with our relationship through submission and obedience and love for God.
Saviela: What advice do you give someone who has a desire to get into the Gospel/Christian music industry?
Joann: My number one advice would be to build a very, very, very strong relationship with God. You can have the best voice in the world, but if you don’t have the anointing and power behind it, then you are just another singer and you won’t change anyone’s life. Get a strong relationship with God. Deal with the sin in your life; adultery, pornography, fornication, sexual immorality and homosexuality because that’s another thing that really put artists and musicians down the hole. It destroys people that are called to powerful worshippers and allows the enemy to have a grasp in their life. Fast and pray and be sure to have accountability all around you. Deal with the skeletons that are in your closet so that when God elevates you and give you opportunity to minister that you are coming forth as a clean vessel. That is my number one advice. Number two is to practice your craft. Become as excellent in your craft as you can. I still warm up and I still do vocal exercises and hone my gift of singing. That excellence has to be there. And lastly, begin to take advantage of every opportunity that God gives you to sing. Even if it’s in front of a small crowd, a big crowd or even small churches take those opportunities. Build relationships with people and allow God to open those doors in that relationship. Don’t build relationships with people because you want them to do something for you but build genuine relationships with people that you meet. That could mean producers, other artists, and musicians, anyone you may meet, just be a good friend and care for people. You will see just how being genuine in that area will open you to new opportunities. It will open the doors for you to sing somewhere new or even sing vocals on a background CD. You would be surprised and it’s really not that hard if this is something that God has for you. Be faithful in your local church. You never know when someone is going to hear you, so take advances of those opportunities. And that is my advice, I know other people will say go to this conference or that conference and you could do those things; but if God doesn’t want you in those industries and you just want that for yourself then it’s not going to be a blessing to you. But if God wants you there He will open the doors for you and you will be effective.
Saviela: What’s next for you?
Joann: Continuing to develop Rainfire Church. I am pastoring now and we just celebrated our 2nd year anniversary. I definitely have a desire to continue building the church in excellence. The Condrey Evangelistic Association has a lot of new things coming up that will involve me like being on television and things of that nature so please keep us in prayer.
Saviela: How can our audience connect with you?
Joann: You can connect with me on Twitter @joannroscondrey on Instagram @joannroscondrey on Facebook – Joann Rosario Condrey and on You Tube – Joann Rosario Condrey, that is where you will get the most up to date ministry of the word that comes forth from Rainfire church. And Periscope @joannroscondrey
Thank you so much for taking time to chat with us. We pray continual blessings for you and your beautiful family.
**Published in the Promoting Purpose Women Magazine Spring 2016 Issue. See previous post on how to purchase a copy